Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Satellite 05/21/2011

An incredible tournament! I was doing great the first 2/3 of the tournament and then my hands dried up.
I got the chip lead very quickly and kept it through 3 levels. Nothing spectacular, just good solid poker and decent cards. What helped was getting pocket Qs three times. I folded them once, but the other times I knocked out a player. Then, I was dealt pocket 8s. I bet to the river and then had to fold losing a nice chunk of chips. The following hand was pocket As. I made an average bet. Another player bumped the bet 3 times. All players folded to me and I pushed all in. He called. He had pocket Ks. 2 outs. The flop gave him one of his outs. That took half of my stack.
I rebuilt through solid playing and soon regained the chip lead. A couple of hands worth mentioning were back to back. The first hand was an AQ and I got the straight on the turn. I milked it and then pushed on the river. The other player folded. The following hand I had A10 and got the straight on the turn again. The other player had AJ and there were two Js on the board. I pushed again and he called and was completely in shock seeing my straight.
After that my hands dried up. I held on as long as I could, getting into the final table. But with blinds at 4000/8000 and antes at 500, chips were going quick, since we had 5 at our table until the other table lost the bubble. When we got to the final table, I was the small stack. I managed to double up once, but the chips kept disappearing. I finally got a hand worth investing and pushed my remaining 13000 chips. The BB only had to put in another 6000, so she called. She had a J7 unsuited to my A10. The flop was A109. I had two pair. The turn was a J of diamonds and the river was another diamond, giving four diamonds on the board. None of my cards were diamonds. She had the 7 of diamonds. I was out in 8th place. Sounds like my previous two chances at the WSOP.
Regardless of the results and the fact that I was just 3 players from the money ( 5 players were paid, the first player got the seat), I felt that I had done very well. I had played good solid poker.

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Capitol Casino - WSOP Satellite 04/02/2011

Interesting tournament! I started out losing a few hands and was starting to get disgusted. I finally got a pocket pair of Js in the big blind. This annoying person in second seat raised my blind, so I bet three times his raise. He bumped it again, so I pushed all-in. A rather dumb move, since I just had Js and it was obvious that he had a bigger pair. He called and flipped over a pair of Ks. I stood up to go when the flop gave me a set. The turn gave him a straight draw, but the river gave me a full house. I was chip leader and stayed that way until about the 6th level. While I was at that initial table my hands were incredible or would develop into an incredible hand and I kept gaining chips. Near the end of the 5th level, they split up our table and I was placed at seat one at the new table. I could not get a hand or my hand would not develop at this new table. I watched as my chip lead was passed my several players at my table. When I would get a great hand every one would fold, so I couldn't get any traction. I got 9 10 in the BB and called the person who had doubled the bet. The flop was A 7 8, so I had a great drawing hand. I saw that he had 6K left, so I put him all-in. He called and turned over pocket Ks. I never got my straight. A few hands later the person sitting to my right went all-in. I had A 4 suited, so I called. Another player called, as well. Me and the other player checked it down. I had paired my 4, but the 3 on the river had given the all-in a straight. More chips lost. During the 10th level I got pocket 9s. Someone had made a nice bet so I called. The flop was 10 9 8. The other player made a bet and I pushed all-in. He called. He had pocket Js to my trip 9s. The turn didn't help either of us. But the river gave him the straight and I was out in 32nd place.

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Capitol Casino - WSOP Satellite 03/05/2011

I was getting shit. Shit, do you hear? I went 8 levels just barely getting enough hands to stay in. The blinds were up to 600/1200 with a 200 ante before I started making any headway.
I got a few nice hands in a row and picked up enough chips to breathe. Then I got a pair of pocket Qs and bet them. I got one caller. The flop was AKQ, so I checked and the other player put in about half the number of chips that I had left, so I pushed all in. They had K8. I doubled up. Then I doubled up again when I got an A10 and the flop was 3 10 10. I checked and the other player made a huge bet. I pushed all-in and they called. They had A3.
I was doing pretty good. We got down to 11 players and were that way for about 90 minutes or more. When the blinds were at 1000/2000 with a 300 ante, I got an AK on the button. An aggressive player, whom I had played 3 years ago at Colusa, put in 6000. The rest of the players folded. I doubled the bet to 12000 - I should have tripled it. He called. The flop was AQ8 of diamonds. I didn't have a diamond, so I looked back at my hand and immediately pushed my chips in. Hoping that he would think that I had a high diamond. He took about 5 minutes before he finally called my all in with K7 (the seven was a diamond). He had several outs, but he would have been crippled if I had a diamond larger than the 7. Fortunately for him I didn't have a diamond. So when a diamond came on the turn, giving him a flush, I was out of the tournament in 11th place.
Since there were only 50 players, 1st place got the WSOP seat and everyone else got nothing. I didn't think that I would get 1st place, but I would have liked to at least make the final table. Being the bubble isn't much fun.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 02/21/2011

Wow!! Has it really been 6 months since I played poker?

I felt great. I wasn't getting many hands, but the hands that I did play were all going my way. I was building up my stack when I got dealt an AK unsuited. I was the BB. One player raised my blind by triple, so I tripled his raise and he pushed all in. I called. He turned over KK. I had three outs and my hand never got any better. So, I lost 50% of my stack, but I was still in the game.
There were two times that I messed up after that. The first time, I had pocket 3s. I called the flop, but folded on the turn. The river was a 3. Was very upset about that hand. The second time, I had A-10 unsuited. Two players bet the hand before it got to me. I didn't think that my hand was worth the extra chips, so I folded. The flop was 10 high. The river was another 10. Arrrrg.
I managed to play until the final table. The second hand gave me AK suited and again I was the BB. The large stack raised my blind, so I pushed all in. He turned over AQ unsuited. I had the best hand with all my chips in. I was thrilled. However, no more hearts came up and the river was a Q. At least, I was in the money. I had played that hand correctly and he got lucky. That's poker!

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Lucky Derby Casino - 08/21/2010

After a long break from poker, I went to the casino without warming up. I was playing brilliantly, if I say so myself. I was second chip stack for most of the tournament. We started with 21 players and I was still second chip stack when the top stack knocked me out.
I had AK in the small blind. Everyone folded around to the big stack, who doubled the bet. everyone folded around to me. I didn't take him seriously, as he had been betting aggressively the entire tournament and either intimidated others into folding or got lucky when they called.
I tripled his bet and he called me. At this point the blinds were 3000/6000 and there was roughly 80000 chips in the pot. The flop was all low cards, with two clubs. We both checked. The turn was the A of clubs. I figured that he wouldn't have called my large re-raise pre-flop with just a couple of clubs, but I didn't want him to have any odds to draw a fifth club if he had one, so I pushed all-in. He called. I flipped over the AK and he flipped over 10 6 of clubs. So, this time he got lucky at my expense. I was out in 8th place.
I believe that I played great and he made an extremely bad pre-flop call and got very lucky. I don't feel too bad about it, since I know that I was the better player in that hand and even good players lose to bingo players.

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Capitol Casino - WSOP Satellite 05/01/2010

I didn't get much to work with during this tournament. Every time I had a passable hand someone would make a huge bet and I would be forced to fold. I managed to get enough hands to stay in the tournament until the 9th level. The blinds were 400/800 and the ante was 100. A player two seats to my left was getting unbelievable hands and he had at least 4 times as many chips as I had. I finally got a decent hand, KQ suited, so I called a raise to 2 times the big blind. The guy two seats to my left made it 4000 to go. I was forced to fold again as my only other choice was an all-in. A few hands later I got another great hand AJ with only 10 blinds left. I called a raise of 3 times the big blind. The guy two seats to my left went all-in. The person that I called folded and I called. He had QQ and it held up. I was out in 32nd place out of 81. Not that good, but I shouldn't have lasted as long as I did with the crap hands that I was getting.
I had one hand early on which I felt great about. I had an A4 suited. I raised to 3 times the big blind and got two callers. The flop was all low including a 4. I put in 1/3 of my stack and one of the two called. The turn was a Q. The board was showing 3 diamonds. I bet half my stack and the remaining player thought about it for quite a long time. I had stacked my remaining chips and was going to push on the river. He folded. It turned out that the other two players both had AK. The one that folded last had a K of diamonds and was pissed off when I told him what I had. He was steaming for several hands after that.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 04/19/2010

I wasn't feeling well and getting no hands for two levels didn't help my disposition. When I finally got pocket 8s I decided to play them aggressively. The other player in the hand called my all in with a K9 and found a 9 on the flop. What can you do when you play against idiots?

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 04/16/2010

This tournament was a nightmare. I started out hot and knocked two players out early on with great hands. Then I didn't catch much for quite awhile. I kept the chip lead until there were 4 of us left.
At one point I actually went to 3rd. That happened when I was dealt pocket Ks. The other player in the hand had raised half their stack, so I pushed them all in. They had a 45 suited. As soon as I saw that I said, here comes a straight. And as fate has it the straight came on the river breaking my Ks.
I was able to regain 2nd place by the time that we were down to 3. The person that broke my Ks was the short stack. I got 56 suited and made a huge bet. The same person went all in. I called, as it wasn't too much more. She had an AJ. I said that maybe I'd get the straight this time. The flop looked favorable for me to get the straight, plus I also had a flush possibility. The turn gave me an open ended straight draw as well as the flush draw. The river gave me my flush. I had knocked this lady out of these satellites all three times that I played her. She was extremely pissed off.
Earlier in the tournament, I wasn't paying too much attention and mucked a wheel straight to trip 4s against her, so I was glad to knock her out. Especially after she had compounded that error by breaking my Ks.
That is where my game went downhill. My opponent heads-up got Ax for all 5 hands that were dealt heads up bringing my chip stack pretty low. On the final hand, I went all-in with suited cards. He turned over AJ and knocked me out with quad Js.
So, this is the third time that I got knocked out 2nd.

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Capitol Casino - WSOP Satellite 04/03/2010

I decided to try a different casino. This casino was running a WSOP satellite with a $220 buy-in. We started with 6000 chips and could buy an extra 2000 chips for $10. There was a re-buy if you were knocked out during the first three rounds.
On the third hand I got an AK in the small blind. The big blind was not at the table. Everyone folded to me, so I showed my hand. The next hand gave me an A5 suited. I raised the hand from the button and the BB called. The flop was 558 giving me trip 5s. The BB bet 300 chips which was called by me and another player. The turn was an A giving me a full-house. The BB bet 600, the other player folded and I pushed it to 1800. The BB called. The river was a useless card. The BB made a bet of 1500 and I pushed all-in. He thought about it for a long time and then called. I was the chips leader and he was on life-support.

During the second round I caught an AJ and bet and got one caller. The flop was 34J. I bet 600 and he bumped it to 1200. I bet 600 more and he called. I was thinking that he a Jx and I had him out-kicked. The turn was a useless card. I bet 2500 and he doubled it - I called. The river was a 4 putting 2 fours on the board. I didn't think that he had a 4 since he was raising my bets, so I called his all in, which was a small amount compared to the pot. He turned over a pair of 4s for quads. I was back down to just over my starting chip stack.

I didn't catch any hands for the remainder of the second round and nothing in the third round. Right before the third round ended I was moved to another table.

On my second hand I got an A7 in the small blind. The big stack, just to my left, was a big bluffer and chased people to the river. I just called the BB. An A came up on the flop, so I made a sizable bet and got two callers, including the BB. The turn was a 7 of spades giving me two pair. I bet a third of my chips and was called by the BB. There were now two clubs and two spades on the board. The river was a spade. I figured that he wouldn't chase a runner runner flush, so I pushed. Well, he had the A3 of spades and got the nut flush knocking me out of the tournament.

I feel that my play was good except for the AJ against the quads. I should have been more cautious when he called my raise, but for some reason I never suspect trips on the flop.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/26/2010

Today's tournament, like Monday's tournament almost did not take place. I was about ready to tell them to refund my money when someone decided that they would play giving us a full table.
The tournament started really slow for me. It was well into the second level before I finally got a hand worth betting. I raised 3 times the big blind and everyone folded.
The next hand that I got was pocket Ks. Again, I raise 3 times the big blind and I got one caller. The flop was 77A - a very bad flop. Two of the cards were diamonds, as well. I bet 500 chips and was called. The turn didn't help me, so I just bet another 500 chips and was called. The river was a diamond. I immediately pushed all of my chips in. I was reasonably sure that he had an A, so was keeping my fingers crossed that I sold the flush to him. He thought about it and decided that I might have an AQ and folded. I was very relieved, but I am sure that I played it right.
After that whenever I got a hand worth taking a chance on I would either get no callers and just pick up the blinds or someone would go all-in and I would have to toss my hand. Finally, in the 5th round, I got another hand - pocket 9s. I bet it normally and the person that I had bluffed with my pocket Ks pushed all-in. I called and he turned over pocket Js. They stood up and I was out in 6th place. I feel somewhat good about that placement, as these were very good players.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/22/2010

A dismal showing. I got 3 hands, not including the one that knocked me out.
Two of the hands paid off slightly. The third was a split pot. The hand that knocked me out looked like it was going to be a split pot, but he paired up on the river. I was forced to go all-in at that point, as I had less than 10 blinds left and wasn't catching anything, not even good bluffing hands. I was quite patient waiting for something to happen and nothing did, so I was surprised that I actually finished in 5th place.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/19/2010

I was playing very well. I gained the chip lead almost immediately when someone was too aggressive with pocket Js and I had an A with an A on the board.
I got pocket As twice and made a lot of chips both times, knocking someone out of the tournament the second time.
When we were down to four players I made a major blunder which cost me over 60% of my chips. I had A 10 and bet it up. There was one caller. The flop was 10 8 2. I bet 1500 and the other player pushed all-in. I felt that having top pair with top kicker was a winning hand and called. He turned over two 8s. His trip 8s held up.
Not too long afterwards I got an A 8. The same player bet high and I pushed all-in. The player to my left called me, so the player on my right folded. He had A 10 suited. The player on my left turned over pocket 6s. I caught an A on the flop and thought that I was back in the hunt, but he caught one of his two outs on the turn and knocked me out of the tournament in 4th place. He won the tournament within 5 minutes after I was knocked out. He was the same player that knocked me out of the final last year heads-up.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/12/2010

I am getting quite frustrated. I started out hot. I knocked out three people within the first 30 minutes and had a huge chip lead. Then my hands started getting bad. I would get a good calling hand, but the flop would kill me or someone would make a big bet which I would be unable to call.
When it got down to 5 people my chips were only slightly larger than the next person. However, my hands started improving and I knocked out two more players, putting my stack back up there. When it came to heads up I had a 3:1 chip lead. The other player would either fold or go all-in. After this had gone on a while, I got a pocket pair of 3s. He went all-in and I called. He had A8 unsuited. The flop gave him an 8 and he won the hand. He now had a 2:1 chip lead on me. His all-in strategy dropped my chips down to 4:1. I finally started to make a come back and was back to 2.5:1 when I got A6. He called with 45 suited. He caught a 5 on the river to knock me out in second place (again). So I just got the $50. I will be playing next Friday.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/05/2010

This tournament was quite opposite of Monday's tournament. I only got one hand worth betting during the first round (pocket 3s), but when someone bet 4 times the BB pre-flop I figured that it wasn't good enough and folded before I committed any chips. The hand would have lost.
During the second round (blinds 50/100), I finally came up with a decent hand (KQ). There were two callers when it came around to me, so I bet 500. The BB called and so did one of the other players. The flop was Q83, so I bet 1500. The BB pushed and the other player folded. I called and the BB turned over pocket Ks. I was left with 400 chips.
The next hand I got AK. I went all-in. The next player raised the bet and I told him to quit chasing away my action. The player in 2nd position went all-in and the player after me called. The player after me had AK, as well. The other player had pocket 9s. I knew that I was out. Since two of my outs were already taken. The 9s held up, so I paid for next Friday's tournament.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/01/2010

It has been quite some time since I played poker at the casino. Lucky Derby started satellites for the 2010 WSOP Main Event today. The cost is $30 ($5 more will give you twice the amount of chips). I spent the $35, as did the other 9 players, so we all started with 3000 in chips. I wasn't getting any hands for quite awhile, just the occasional A with a nice kicker, but they were few and far between. It was obvious to me when the blinds started climbing that I would need to change my game.
I was down to 1700 an the blinds were 600/1200. The BB came around to me and the SB put me all in. Fortunately, I had an AK which held up. I started getting hands after that.
When we were down to 4 players I was dealt an A Q. The low stack went all-in with J7 suited. I called. The flop gave her another 7, which stuck. The following hand I was the BB. She was the SB. She called and I checked. I had 4 6 unsuited. The flop was 234. She checked and I bet 4000. She called the 4000. The turn was a 5. She went all-in. I called. She had 35 giving her 2 pair. I had a straight, which held up. I was a huge chip leader over the other two players.
I knocked out the player to my left which gave me a 4:1 chip lead. I made a few mistakes heads up and lost my lead. The final hand gave me QJ. The flop was K94. The other player went all-in and I called - not sure what I was thinking. That only gave me 4 outs. He had K 10, which took one of my outs. His Ks held up. I got $50 for second place and he got the seat to the the final satellite in May.
I was quite disappointed having blown a 4:1 chip lead, but felt pretty good about how I played leading up to heads-up. I hadn't played in months and I came quite close to taking the tournament. That makes me feel better about the loss. Hopefully, I will get my skills back quickly, so that I take down the next seat I play for.

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Missing In Action - 12/01/2009

As you might have noticed, there has been very little activity in this blog. I was very busy for several weeks and the day before I was about to play in another tournament I was laid off. I have been spending all of my time looking for another job. Unfortunately, this area is technologically limited and no one seems to be interested in tele-commuters.
I had a large gap last year at this time due to Isis' death. This isn't a great time of year for me.
Personally, I am glad that I was laid off. Back in July, the company that I had been working for since 2001 sold off the part of the company that I was working on to another company. That other company couldn't afford to pay the staff, so they eliminated over half of us. Since I did not see any opportunities in that company, I am glad that I can now concentrate on my job search. It may take awhile and I may have to take a pay cut, but I need to get back to what I do best and I haven't been able to do that for several years.
I am studying for a few Microsoft certifications so that I can place those on my resume, as well.

I don't expect to get back to poker until I have found a new job, so BCNU.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 08/08/2009

I haven't played in quite some time as I was pretty angry about not getting the seat at the WSOP Main Event. However, since I decided to go kayaking up in the Victoria, BC area, my anger subsided. I had a much better time in Canada than I would have had in Las Vegas.
When I arrived for today's tournament, I ran into the owner of the casino and asked him how Gary (the person that won the WSOP seat) had done. Well, it turned out that he had had a medical emergency and had to cancel out of the Main Event. This made me angry all over again since that basically had made the tournament a cash game. The $10,000 should have been split up between the satellite players.
I had been reading several chapters in the Book of Bluffs since the satellite and decided to make use of the new knowledge. The first hand, I was in the BB, so when the play came around to me, I raised the bet just enough to make all of the limpers think about it and fold. However, for the first couple of levels I was getting incredible hands. I was knocking players off left and right. My stack was so huge at the end of the second round that I knew my luck was going to break soon.
When the third round began I got pocket Qs and bet out. I put another player all in, but this time he pulled a straight on the river. Shortly after, I got an AK suited and made a large bet, forcing all but one of the limpers out of the pot. The flop had a Q high and based upon the other players bet I figured that he must have had an AQ. Since I didn't feel like chasing and possibly losing quite a huge percentage of my stack I folded.
I didn't start getting hands again until late in the 4th level. I was able to double up to keep my stack from disappearing altogether. During the 5th level, I received an AJ of clubs and made a huge bet. Another player went all in. I figured that my luck might still be good and I had a pretty decent hand so I called. He turned over AK. There was a K on the flop and no clubs came up. I was out in 8th place. I had paid $60 to enter the tournament and got $61 for 8th place so I made a whopping $1.
Still, I felt very good about the way that I had played and saw where I needed to improve. It was a very good learning experience.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Satellite 05/11/2009

I arrived at the casino at about 6:20pm. I saw that a tournament was going on, and it was a WSOP Satellite. I immediately thought that they had changed the time and not notified me. Well, it turned out to be that it was a Super Satellite and the winner would play in the Satellite immediately following. So, I watched the game and tried to figure out how each person played. I figured out who was the strongest player and figured that he would win the seat. So, I concentrated on his game, so that I would have an edge. He eventually did win the tournament and get the seat in the Satellite.
I was sitting at Seat 6 Table 2, while I was watching the Super Satellite. The owner came by and gave me my seat assignment (Seat 6, Table 2). That was a good sign. When the dealer dealt the cards for the button, it turned out to be seat 6. Another good sign.
I started out strong and won a few hands and got my chips up from 5000 to 8000 right away. But then the cards started to fail me and my great hands would end up getting folded because the board had only low cards. My stack dropped back down to 4900 before it reversed direction again.
I kept my stack at around 6000 for quite some time, as the cards weren't coming and when they did, no one called my bets. I was starting to get worried since the blinds were continuing to rise.
When we went down to one table, my stack was a little below average.
I got a pair of As in the Big Blind. The chip leader (small blind) raised the bet to twice the BB. I hesitated for a moment and then cautiously called him. Everyone else folded. The flop was crap, but the small blind made a big bet, continuing to be aggressive toward me. I called his bet. The turn couldn't have helped him either, but he made another large bet. I moved all-in and he called. I flipped over the pocket As and he just mucked his hand without even waiting for the river card.
I finally started to get some hands again and built it up until I had a little less than a third of the total chips. The chip leader sitting to my right still had more than I did. He had been chip leader for the entire tournament. The remaining chips were split between the rest of the players.
The chip leader started attacking my stack and did a pretty good job of it. I decided that I had better tighten up my game, before I lost all of my chips to him or the blinds.
One player got a small pocket pair and went all-in. I called with AQ suited. No A or Q or spade came up, so his small pair won. A few hands later, I got an AK. The player that I had just doubled up made a big bet, so I just called him. The flop had two Qs. The player checked and I played with my chips for a long time, thinking of what the best bet would be and then made a bet of half the pot. He folded and showed his AK. I said, that what I had too and flipped them over. He wasn't too happy about my bluff. The rest of the players were now aware that I bluff, so they were a bit more loose when I bet.
My stack had dwindled down to about 12,000. The person to my left had about 15,000. The chip leader had the rest (about 70,000). The person to my left went all-in with an A and was called by the chip leader. He had a Q6. He caught the 6 on the river and knocked the other player out, leaving me heads up.
I started building my stack by going all-in. Not sure why he wasn't calling. Whenever he made a bet, I would fold. I had built my stack back up to 15,000. I was dealt a K9 and went all-in. He called with a A7. The flop had an A and I thought that was it, but the owner said - you have trips, didn't you see the 9s. The flop was A99. So, I doubled up. A few hands later I got K9 again. I went all-in and he called with Q5. The flop had Q54, which gave him two pair. He had won the seat to the WSOP.
I was so close. I had my chips in with the best hand. If I had taken that hand I would have had the chip lead and then I would have dictated the game. I am sure that I would have won the tournament if I had won that hand.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 05/02/2009

I arrived at the casino 30+ minutes early today so that I could play a little $1/$1 NL Holdem prior to the tournament to warm up. I was a bit tired, but as the game went on I started to wake up. I was down about $15 and managed to get back to $3 down when they broke up the table for the tournament.
I was given seat 7 at table 1, so I was pretty happy. I usually have good luck at seat 7. Today, however, was different.
We started with 4000 chips and I never got above that. I just kept going down steadily. I just couldn't catch a hand. I was surprised that this would happen two weeks in a row. Hand after hand was garbage. I got a total of 2 hands worth betting and I only got the blinds on both, so they didn't help me at all.
When I was down to 2200 chips and the blinds were up to 400/200, a player, who had only 1200 left went all in. Everyone folded to me, so I went all in. The blinds both folded. I had pocket 3s, which was actually one of the better hands of the day, and he had K9. The flop was JJ6. The turn was another 6, which counterfitted my 3s, so I was down to 1000 chips. The next hand was my big blind, so I was pretty much committed. One person called my all in. I had J 10, he had KQ. The flop paired my J. The turn didn't help him, but the river was a Q and I was out.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 04/25/2009

Today felt great. Unfortunately, I ran into someone who disguised their hand so well, that I lost 70% of my chips. I know, I shouldn't have been fooled into losing that much, but I had a great hand. He had a full house.
So, I waited patiently for hands for 90 minutes. I was stunned. Almost 90% of my hands were 92, 82, 72, 62, 32. I didn't think I could see that many of the same hands over and over again. Too bad that they weren't all good hands. I managed to get 5 good hands during the 90 minutes. One hand wasn't too great, but I had been getting nothing for 45 minutes and the blinds were going to kill me soon, so I went all in with K3 of diamonds. I got one caller. They had pocket 7s. The flop paired my 3 and the river paired my K. The only other hand of the 5 good hands that paid off was an AK in first position. Unfortunately, no one called my bet, so I only took down the blinds.
The final hand was KQ of hearts. The person to my right raised enough pre-flop to put me all in. Since I was sure to be blinded out soon anyways and this was the best hand that I had seen in quite some time, I went all in. He had AK. The flop had a K and two hearts. So, I had 12 outs - the 9 hearts remaining and the 3 Qs. Unfortunately, they didn't come up and I was knocked out in 35th place out of 55.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 04/18/2009

I knew immediately that today was going to be a bad day. I was exhausted and couldn't concentrate. I was repeatedly told "it's on you". Once, I even missed a raise.
I got a nice hand (KQ) right away and bet it. There was a large bet on the flop (JJ2) so I folded. The following hand was AK and someone bet 5x the big blind. I called. The flop was AJ6, I bet 600 and the other player folded.
Later, I got pocket Js and bet them. The flop didn't have anything above an 8. The other player bet 300 and I doubled him. He folded.
Outside of those few hands, I had nothing and no chances at bluffing. One hand I folded was an A2 in second position. The turn and the river were A2, so I would have won a huge pot if I had stayed in.
My final hand was an A6 in middle position. I bet 4 times the big blind and was called. The flop was 57J. I made a continuation bet of 600 and was called. The turn was an A, giving me top pair but a bad kicker. I bet 1200 and was called. The river put three diamonds on the board. I pushed all-in and after a long hesitation, was called. He had a better kicker and I was out 30 minutes into the tournament.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 04/04/2009

I guess I got a bit cocky over my win last week.

I was just lucky to last as long as I did. In the first few hands I got an AJ. I bet 3.5 times the BB from the first position. The BB called me. The BB happened to be someone that has gone over the top of my bets quite often. He is very loose and gets knocked out early most of the time.
The flop was K 8 9. I wanted him to think that I had an AK or pocket Ks, so I bet 2/3 the pot (major mistake number 1). He called. I repeated this all the way hoping that he would drop the hand, but he called all the way. He had a K. So my stack went from 10,000 to 3,000 in one hand. I was lucky to survive with 3,000.
It took me about an hour to build my stack back up to average stack size, but I did manage it. Our table broke up and I was placed at a table where there were some very good players. I didn't get very many good hands, but managed to keep my stack growing.
At about 90 minutes into the tournament I got an A 10. The blinds were 300 600, so I bet 2,000. The BB went all in. I called (major mistake number 2). She turned over pocket Js. I had three outs. The flop was all low cards, as was the turn. The river gave me my A and she was knocked out. I felt bad that I kicked out a good player with my terrible playing, but that is poker.
The second hand after we came back from break was pocket 8s. The blinds were 500/1000. One person limped in and everyone else folded to me. I raised it to 4,000. The BB raised it to 10,000. That should have set off alarms, but I figured that I was in a race situation and that I could put him off the hand by pushing. So, I went all in (major mistake number 3) and he called. He turned over pocket As. That gave me 2 outs. The flop gave him trip As, so I was out of the tournament in 21st place.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/29/2009

As with last Sunday, I called ahead to verify that there were enough players to fill the tournament. The person stated that there were 4 players, so I asked to move me to the Monday night tournament.
The lady asked for my name and then said that she had tried to reach me last Sunday because right after I cancelled, several players signed up. She said that I should wait and that she would call me if the tournament filled up. I said okay. When I spoke with her 20 minutes later there were 7 players and she assured me that the tournament was a go.
When I got there, there was only one position left, which filled in a couple minutes.

This tournament was charmed from the first hand. First of all, I would like to add that a very annoying lady and her boyfriend took seats 2 and 3 seats to my left. They kept talking, rather loudly, making it difficult to concentrate. Anyways, back to the first hand. I was dealt AQ of spades. The blinds were 25/50. I was in position 3. Position 1 folded, position 2 limped, I bet 150 chips, position 4 and 5 folded and the noisy lady (continuing to talk incessantly) raised me 300 chips. Everyone folded around to me, so I raised her an additional 500 chips. The dealer stated raise 500, but she kept talking, so I said "its 500 to you". She said, you're real eager to get me to call. I replied, no, you were talking so I thought that you missed the raise. She folded and then stated, I can multi-talk, I'm intelligent that way. Obviously, covering the fact that she had made a bad bluff at the pot. I was now chip leader.
One hand that I was a bit miffed about was a 3 4 of diamonds. There was a large raise, so I folded it. The flop would have given me a straight flush draw and the turn would have given me a straight . I would have knocked two people out of the tournament had I just called that initial bet.
Many of my hands weren't very remarkable, so I will just comment on the ones that stood out.
I was dealt a pair of Js, but just limped in since Js are not my favorite. The boyfriend of the chatterer raised, everyone folded and I called. The flop were all under the J, so I bet 2/3 the pot. The boyfriend went all-in and I called. He had A 10 of hearts, pairing the 10 on the board. The turn and the river didn't help him and I now had more than twice the number of chips as everyone else.
One of the players was extremely low on chips. I had A7. He bet 500 leaving him with 1200 chips. I put him all in and he called. He had A3. The flop had a 7 and he was out.
At one point me and the person sitting to my right were very close in chips. We had a commanding lead over the remainder of the table. I was dealt AQ. The blinds were 300/600. He bet 1800 and I raised it to 3600. He pushed his chips in and I called. He had a pair of 10s. The flop had a Q and he got up to leave and said good game. I told him that it wasn't over yet. But the turn and river didn't help him. I now had 90% of the chips. It was just a matter of time before I knocked the other two players out. I knew I had won.
When we got to heads up, I started getting great hands and chipping away at the remainder of his stack. I must have had at least 3 pocket pairs, one of which went to a flop and got trips. The blinds had gone to 500/1000. I got AK and was small blind. I raised it to 3000. He shoved his remaining chips in, which was 3200 more to me. He had QJ. The flop and turn didn't help either of us. The river was a Q and I groaned, then took another look and noticed that it was a Q of diamonds. There were four diamonds on the board and my A was a diamond. I had won the tournament with an A high flush.
So, I have my entry into the WSOP satellite in May. Last year I had entered 6 tournaments at $65 per to get my seat, which is $390. This year I entered 3 tournaments at $70 per for a total of $210 to get my seat.
Last year, I was knocked out of the satellite in 6th place. Hopefully, I will be able to get the WSOP seat this year.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/23/2009

Did much better. Again started out hot. Stayed hot and was either the chip leader or just below chip leader most of the tournament. When we were down to 5 players, I got pocket 3s. I limped in as small blind. The flop gave me trip 3s. I started playing with my chips and saw the big blind reach for his chips, so I knew he was going all in. I bet 1000 and he went all in. First position folded, second position folded and the button went all-in. I had more chips than both the all-ins, so I called. My trips held up. After that, my hands went cold. The blinds went to 500/1000 and being a three person table my chips went down rapidly. I eventually had to go all-in with a KJ. I was called by someone with an A5. The flop was Q 10, so I had outs. I was hoping that he would get his A. No such luck. I went out in 3rd place. The person that took me out went on to win.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Super Satellite 03/16/2009

Not very good. I started out hot, but my hands cooled off after the first round. I went out in 7th place (out of 10).

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Lucky Derby Casino - 02/08/2009

Today was supposed to be a satellite to the WSOP Main Event but it required 50 people. Since only 22 were signed up it was a cash tournament. I did incredible initially. I got pocket As and someone went all-in, so I doubled up. Then I had a down-turn. I got pocket As again and someone called my huge bet. After the turn, I put him all in and he called. He had pocket Qs and the turn was a Q. I also had a KQ and a K on the flop and bet it out. Fortunately, there was a pair of 10s on the board which we both checked, so I didn't lose to much when she turned over AK. After that my fortune turned and I started getting good hands once in a while. Enough to keep me well above the blinds and to the final table. We agreed at the final table to pay the bottom 5 $100 out of each from the 1st place winnings.
My chips started sliding due to the blinds and my lack of catching a hand worth betting. I never seemed to get a chance to bluff, either. Finally, I got a Q 4 of clubs in the big blind. I got a couple of callers. The flop had an A J of clubs and a 3 of some other suit. I bet 3,000 and the other player raised. I counted my chips and realized that I was committed, so went all-in. The other player thought for quite a while then decided to call. He had a K 3, so he had paired the 3s. The turn was a 4, giving me the edge and the river was a club giving me the flush. I doubled up at the right time.
I got another great hand about 15 minutes later. I had a Q of hearts and a 10 of diamonds so I limped in. No one else bet and the big blind checked. The flop had all hearts. The BB bet and I called. The turn didn't help. The big blind checked, so I bet 3/4 the pot and was called. The river gave me the flush. The BB checked, I bet and he folded.
When we got down to 6 players, we discussed chopping the prize six ways. I was the chip leader at this point. I had no problem with chopping, since I knew my game was up and down. One player said no, so we kept playing.
I got a KQ in first position and bet 3 times the BB. The BB had been an aggressive player the entire game. Everyone folded to the BB, who thought about it and then called. The flop was 10 5 9, giving me a gut shot straight. The BB checked, so I accepted the free card. The turn was a J giving me my straight. The BB went all-in. I called. He had A J, pairing the high card. He had somehow gotten ahead of me in the chip count, so he still had a few chips remaining.
That put me so far ahead of the other players, I thought for sure that the hold out would want to split now, but he still didn't want to.
I got a pair of pocket Ks on the button. One of the aggressive players bet 4 times the BB, everyone folded to me. Knowing that the flop might contain an A. I decided to just slow call the raise. The flop was Q high. The aggressive player put in 4,000 and I pushed it to 12,000. He thought that I might be playing a 5 7, since the board had a 6 8. I stated that there was not way that I would have called his raise with that kind of hand. He eventually folded and I showed the Ks. It is always good to show a great hand once in a while, so they don't start thinking that you are stealing.
Shortly after that hand. the hold out went all in and lost. So, he ended up with only $100. Now, however, one of the players who had been low on chips decided that they wanted to play until there was only 4 of us. She was playing very aggressive against me since I was the chip leader. After two hands, I got a good hand and placed a big bet. I was called by one of the other players. The flop helped me and I made a huge bet. The other player folded. The hold-out realized that I wasn't going to lose my chips very quickly so decided to do the split. Since I was the chip leader, they asked me if a 5 way split was ok. I stated that I had no problem with it when there was 6 of us. So we each got $775. Since I was chip-leader, I got first place.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 01/24/2009

This was a terrible outing. I was out of the tournament within 20 minutes. I had two great hands both of which were called and lost on the river. 56th out of 56.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 12/27/2008

It has been quite some time since I played at the local casino. The day after I last played we discovered that my favorite cat, Isis, had lung cancer. We put her down two weeks later, as she was failing fast and the doctors couldn't do anything to help her.
Two weeks ago, we got another spotted bengal, Alissi. She is quite a handful, as are most kittens. But being a bengal, she is definitely attempting to make herself the alpha cat. She is helping with the grieving, as she looks quite a bit like Isis and has all of the bengal traits that we loved about Isis. However, unlike Isis, Alissi purrs and licks us. I can understand not licking, but I have never heard of a cat that didn't purr.
Anyways, I finally decided to go to the local casino. I got a few great hands, some of which dissipated on the flop, but enough to keep me in the game. One hand, which I was pleased with, was a 7 10 off-suit in the small blind. The player in 7th position and the button limped in, so I called, as well, and the BB checked. The flop was 4 8 9. I lifted the remaining chips in my stack and looked at them, then set them down and checked, since I wanted the button to have a chance to make a huge bet. The BB checked, the player in 7th position stated that I had made him nervous the way I was checking my stack, so he checked as well. The player on the button, who was being loose aggressive, made a huge bet. I immediately pushed all of my chips to the center. The BB folded and the 7th position player folded, stating "I knew it". The button called my all-in and turned over junk cards. I, at least had several outs, he could only hope that he might pair his cards. He had to call, since my all-in was only a few chips more than his bet. The turn gave me my straight and it held up. Everyone was amazed at my play as well as now knowing that the loose aggressive player was making huge bets on junk hands. He didn't get away with it too much more at that table. However, he did go on to tie for first place.
Somehow, I managed to stay alive long enough to make it to the final table in a field of 64. I only got 4 good hands at the final table, but that kept me alive long enough for most of the players to get knocked out. I started the final table in 8th place and I was between the largest stacks. I watched so many players make bad moves and get knocked out. At one point, I had very few chips left and I was going to go all in. However, another player went all in. I had a few chips more than him, so I called from the small blind. The big blind (the loose aggressive player from my first table) called as well, to get rid of both of us. I had K 9 unsuited, the initial bettor had 8 10 and I don't recall what the BB had. The flop was K 10 10. That gave the initial bettor trips and me two pair. The BB had nothing. The turn was another K, giving both of us full house, but mine was better. The river didn't help him, so I tripled up and eliminated a player at the same time. When it was finally down to the final three. I had 3 blinds left and the other two players had the rest of the chips pretty evenly spread. I knew I couldn't last long, so on my blind when I saw I had a 9 10 and the button put in enough chips to put me all in, I called. She had A 4. The flop was A J Q, so I had outs. However, the 8 or K never showed. I was out in 3rd place and got $412. Not too bad.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 08/23/2008

I felt great for this tournament. I played fairly well, but my chip stack remained pretty much constant. I caught a few marginal hands, but never got any action. The last hand I was in 4th position and had A 8. The blinds were 100/200. There was one limper so I raised it to 700. The blinds folded and the limper from first position called. The flop was 8-9-9. I had two pair and an A kicker. I figured that the limper might have either a straight or flush draw, so I bet my last 1500 chips to protect my hand. He called immediately. He turned over pocket Qs, which held up. I didn't expect someone to slow play a pocket pair from first position and paid the price. I believe that I played it right, but some schools of thought would have stated that the fact that he called my 700 bet indicated that he was hiding a strong hand. I thought about that, but took his position into account, as well as the fact that he was playing loose and had a huge stack, and decided that I had the best hand. Sometimes you guess wrong.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 08/02/2008

I got two great hands in this tournament. The first hand was shortly into the tournament. I had just won a small pot with a crap hand which was shown down, so getting A K in my next hand was great. The blinds were still 25/25, so I bet 150 and the person sitting two chairs to my left went over the top with 450. Everyone folded and I called. The flop had a K, so I bet 700 and the other player went all in. He had QQ and my paired Ks held up. I had double everyones chips. The next few good hands that I played I either had a smaller kicker or my opponent got me on the river. My stack was down to starting size again.
I got a J 9 hand in the BB and everyone limped in, so I checked. The flop was Q 10 8. There were two aggressive players at the table and they bet at the flop. I figured that they might be trying for the flush, so I tripled the bet. They folded and I had a nice stack again.
Again, I started getting rivered or kicked when I bet a hand and my stack started to drop. Finally, in the BB I caught middle pair on the flop against one of the aggressive players. I bet out and he hesitated, but eventually called. I should have used the hesitation to my advantage and pushed on the turn, but instead I just bet half the pot. He called again, so now I put him on either the middle or top pair. But now I had a flush draw, as well. The river gave me a flush so I bet out 3/4 the pot. He called again and showed the 10 of clubs for the flush, I only had the 8 of clubs, so he took down most of my chips.
I lingered around and stole the blinds a few times. After the break, we went down to two tables. The blinds were 600/300 and I was the big blind, so I already had a huge investment in the hand (based upon my stack size). There were three limpers, so I pushed all in with A 3 of spades. The person to my left folded, but the other two called my all-in. The flop didn't help me, it just gave me another spade. The turn was a spade as well. They checked me to the river and I turned over my cards. No one had paired, one player had K 10 of spades, so I had him, but the other player had A J unsuited and took all of my chips. Kicked again. However, I didn't feel too bad about being kicked on that hand since it was more of a desperation all-in than anthing else. I was just hoping for no one else calling and taking down all of the limp bets. So, I was out in 20th place.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 07/19/2008

Not a very good showing. I got bad cards and when I would get cards that were playable, I would get no action. I finally got an AJ and the flop was J 4 3. I went all in with my last few chips and was called by someone holding pocket 4s. His trips held up and I was out.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 07/12/2008

Not a very good outing. I only got 2 good hands and 1 good bluffing hand.
The first good hand was pocket Ks when I was down to my last 1100 chips. Two people ahead of me had bet 400, so I went all in and they both called. The flop had a Q and both players bet a large amount in the side pot. They both went all in by the river. They both had AJ off suit. So, I won the main pot (tripling me up) and they took their chips back. One of the players was rather confused as to why she didn't get any of the other players chips. Everyone explained that she didn't win. That they split the side pot and that I had won the main pot. I think that she was still a bit confused but let it go.
I got several okay starting hands which never developed and I watched my stack dwindle. On the last hand before they broke up our table I got 9 7 in the big blind and checked. The flop gave me a pair of 7s and an open-ended straight draw. I bet and got two callers. The turn didn't help me, but I decided to bet anyways hoping that it didn't help them either. They both folded. One of the two players begged me to show him my cards (offered me 100 chips), but I mucked it. He told me later that he had pocket 10s. I told him that he made a good fold, even though he had me beat.
At the next table, my stack dropped continued to dwindle. I made it to the break and sat talking to the dealer. He had played in the final with me for the seat to the Main Event, but had been knocked out before the final table. When play resumed I found a pair of Js and decided that I had better be aggressive with them. One player, the same guy from the other table that had the pocket 10s, bet 1200 chips. I went all in with 3600 and he called, turning over pocket Ks. His Ks held up and I was out.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 07/5/2008

I had two good hands and I played them both like crap. The first good hand that I got was A Q. I bet it out and got 1 caller. The flop was A A Q. I bet a nice amount and was called. The turn gave the board a flush possibility, so I checked hoping that the caller had that suit. He checked. The river didn't help anyone so I decided to go all-in and hope that the over bet would make him think that I was bluffing. It didn't work. I should have bet 500 on the turn and again on the river, but I blew it and only got a few chips out of it.
I was whittling away my chips for quite a while when I finally got my second good hand. A K. I was one of the short stacks, having just under 2000 left. There were about 4 people that limped in at 100 each. I bet 500, it should have been more. I got 2 callers. One caller led out with 1000 chips. I went all-in and the other caller went all-in. The first player folded. The second player had a Q 2. I had nothing and didn't improve. He had me covered, so I was out. Steaming a bit since the player that took me out was the same player with whom I had blown the betting of my full-house. I wasn't too happy about his calling my raise pre-flop with just a Q 2, but he the big stack and could afford it.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Satellite - 05/19/2008

Even though it is now the 23rd, I finally feel well enough to comment on the Satellite tournament. I woke up the morning of the 19th with a constant cough. After taking some cough syrup I became nauseated. The tournament started at 7pm and by the time I was ready to leave for the tournament, my cough had not improved. Needless to say, I was quite angry about being sick on this date. I took some cough syrup with me, as well as a few Riccola.
The tournament contained the winners from the 20 super satellites, so I knew I had a challenge. My hands for the first level were crap, so I concentrated on how others were playing and betting. In reality, I never got a good hand the entire tournament.
However, when I was big blind, I got 10 9 unsuited and only one limper. The limper had been in almost every hand, so I didn't take him too seriously. The flop paired my 9s and was also the highest card on the flop. I bet 2/3 the pot and was called. That set off alarms, but I was still unconvinced. The turn was a Q. I was about to check, but figured that I would try one more time. I bet half the pot and he called. The river was an A. I paused for a bit, then checked. He checked. He showed that he had paired the 3. What the hell was he betting for? He should have bet the river if he was preparing to steal. I was now the chip leader at our table. On a 10 9 unsuited hand.
The next hand was Q J suited. The same player from the previous hand made a bet and I called. The flop gave me a flush draw. He made a marginal bet so I called. The turn didn't help, He made the same bet. I felt that this showed weakness, but I could see that he was a calling station, so I just called him as I hadn't got the flush yet. The river didn't help either, but I made motions that I was prepared to go all-in. Unfortunately, I should have been watching his stack, as he was already pot committed. He went all-in. It wasn't much to call him, so I called. He had paired a 2. Sometimes idiots win. So, I went from chip leader to last place in one hand. I made two mistakes in that hand. First, I should have noticed his stack. Second, I should have put him all-in on the flop (although, with him being a calling station, you never know).
I never had a chance after that. I managed to hang on long enough to beat the 7th place finish at one of the Colusa satellites. I came in 6th.
I could easily blame the flu (which is still with me) or the calling station, but the fault really lies in my playing. This was my last shot to attend this years Main Event.

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Lucky Derby Casino - 05/17/2008

I arrived late, so I was put on a list. The first two levels had passed before I got a seat. I wasn't getting very many hands, so I had to push the few that I did get. Bluffing didn't seem wise as there were lots of chasers.
The first hand that I got was pocket 7's. I placed a large bet and got one caller. I got another 7 on the flop and kept betting. My opponent kept chasing and my 7's help up. I doubled my chip count.
I was moved to another table and caught pocket Q's on my first hand. I collected quite a bit of chips from that hand. I caught pocket 10's a bit later, but two other players went all-in, so I folded. One had pocket 7s and the other had A K. The pocket 10s would have won.
I got pocket Js about 45 minutes later. 4 players had limped (blinds were 400/200). I raised it to 1500 and everyone folded except the big stack. The flop had an A, but I figured that I had the best hand, as he had just limped. I had him on KQ or a small pair, since he had called my raise. We went to the river and I went all-in. He called and showed his A, which beat my pocket Js.

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Colusa Casino - WSOP Main Event Satellite - 04/26/2008

It's not that I feel jinxed, but come on.

I arrived at the casino and got my seat assignment: table 9 seat 6. So, okay, I didn't get the same seat assignment for the third straight satellite. But wait, there weren't enough people by the time the tournament started, in fact there are only 68 people. So, they decided to move all of the players from tables 8 - 11 to fill up the remaining tables. My new seat assignment - you got it - table 5 seat 9. What are the odds? So, now I felt jinxed.

Most of the time, the cards weren't coming. However, every time I got an incredible hand, someone would go all-in. Getting pocket As back to back allowed me to triple up my chips, knocking two players out as well. Unfortunately, every time I got my chip count to a nice level, this lady sitting next to me would go over the top of my bets. Both times I was holding A 10 and an A was on the board. The first time, she had an A K. The second time she got me I had made a big blunder in my bet. I put 900 chips out and said 9 thousand ( a lapse in concentration ). Since I had stated the value of the raise, that was the bet. I was holding A 10 and there was an A on the board, so I felt I was okay. However, this lady went over the top and went all-in. It was another 7000 chips. I felt I had the best hand so I called and she turned over pockets 2s and there was a 2 on the board. An A came on the turn, which gave me trip As, but gave her a full house. So, even had I not made the blunder, the outcome would have been the same. I definitely would have called an all-in with 3 As.
I seemed to be able to recoup the chips that she took from me from another player. Usually a player who had just taken a huge pot from the lady that kept taking my chips.
My stack was pretty low when we went to the second break. I didn't think I would last much longer. However, the first hand after the break doubled me up and I was back in the game. Several hands later I picked up A 10 (again) and bet 3 times the big blind. The big blind pushed all-in. He had been very aggressive with nothing , so I felt my A 10 was good. I saw that he had more chips than I did so I knew that I'd be out if I misread him. I called and he turned over A 5 of clubs. I was pretty happy, but the flop gave him a flush draw and the turn gave him the A high flush.
I feel that I did pretty well at this satellite. I made 4 mistakes. 2 cost me a lot of chips. 1 mistake, was only a mistake because I would have ended up with quad 9s, but since my hand was 6 9 unsuited, I wasn't going to call. The other mistake was not calling a bet when I was holding pocket 8s. An 8 came up on the flop. The winner of the hand only had pocket 6s. Other than those 3 or 4 mistakes, I played pretty solid and my reads were pretty accurate. It looks like May 19 will be my last try to go to Las Vegas.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 04/06/2008

There are days and then there are days....

This was one of the good days. I didn't get many good hands, but the ones that I got were incredible. My first decent hand was A 5. Normally, I would have folded that hand, but I was small blind so I felt that I may as well come in. The flop was A 5 5. I checked and the big blind put in a huge bet. I paused and then called. The turn was a J. I checked and the big blind bet another huge bet and I paused even longer before calling. The river was a 6. I bet 1000 and the big blind went all-in. I turned my hand over to show the full house and he groaned as he turned over his A 9. The guy on my right told me that he folded a 5 7 suited preflop because of the initial bets. I told him that he was lucky as he would have been out of the game.

A few hands later I caught a pair of Ks. I bet 3 times the big blind and got a caller. I was very aggressive on my betting and so was the caller. My Ks held up and I ended up with over half the chips in play. That's when everyone noticed me. "I've never seen you before". "What's your name." "You're the new target!"

I caught an A Q, and bet aggressively. The flop didn't help me and the caller went all-in. He had a huge stack, which would have put a huge dent in my stack. I decided to wait for a better hand.

There was one point when the short stack went all-in. I was holding a pair of 8s. Another player called him and I called them. The flop didn't do me any good, and I was going to check it down anyways. The other player went all-in. Well I wasn't going to call that with three hearts on the board when I only had a pair of 8s (even though one of them was a heart). She only had a K 10 unsuited so the short stack tripled up with a small pair. I would have won as another heart came up and no one else had a heart. My 8s would have won, as well. Everyone chasticed the player that pushed me out of the hand, since the short stack now had alot of chips and he was a good player. The short stack eventually made it to heads-up against me. I took out the player that went all-in a short time afterwards. She went all-in and had 4 callers. I had Q 10 and the flop was A K J all hearts. My Q was a heart, so I was okay for a flush draw and I already had the straight. I checked, as I wanted to know if anyone had the flush. I guess betting would have been a better indication. The turn wasn't anything special, a 3 of clubs I believe, so I bet half the stack. Everyone groaned, as they thought that I was doing what she had done a few hands back. That would have been true if she had a flush, but then if any of the other players had a flush, they would have called my bet, everyone folded. She didn't have the flush, so my straight won.

When we were down to three players, I lost my lead. The new chip leader went up against the small stack. The small stack pulled a miracle out on the river and left the chip leader with very few chips. He was knocked out in a few hands.

I was just slightly behind when we went to heads-up. I got A 6 on my first hand and bet aggressively. I was called and the flop was 6 2 8. I bet aggressively and was called. The turn was an A giving me 2 pair. The other player bet half the pot and I went all-in. He folded. I now had a huge stack lead 10:1. I continued to get great hands. My final hand was an A Q. I called the big blind and he checked. The flop had a Q. He went all-in and I called. He was holding pocket 5s. The Qs held up and I won the tournament. I got an entry into the satellite on 5/19 and the second place got $50. The 5/19 satellite is a WSOP Main Event Satellite with only 20 players. The winner gets a seat at the WSOP Main Event. 20 players to win a seat!!!! Wish me luck!!!!

I couldn't believe it. This tournament only took 2 hours. I was getting incredible hands. I just sat back and waited.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/30/2008

Today was river day. Everyone seemed to be sucking out at the river. I was building my chip stack and made it past the break. There were 6 of us left. The first hand after the break doubled me up. The following hand had three players, two went all-in. The big stack got his card on the river. Which is how he got such a big stack to start with, as his card selection was pretty bad. This left us with 4 players. A few hands later, I got a K 9 and called the big blind. Blinds were 200/400, no ante. The big blind made it 800, I called and so did another player. The flop was 4 8 9, the big blind bet 1500 leaving him with 1800. I bet 3500 to put him all in, he called. He turned over a 7 J.????? All-in on a draw????? 4 outs + 3 for the J. He caught a J on the river. That had pretty much crippled me. A few hands later I got A Q suited and went all-in. The big stack called with 6 9 suited. He caught a 6 on the river. The river sucks.

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Colusa Casino - WSOP Main Event Satellite - 03/29/2008

I knew immediately that I was going to have a problem. My seat assignment was the same seat where I was sitting when I got knocked out last month. Table 5 Seat 9.
I was surprised, however, when my stack just kept growing and growing. The first 5 levels went pretty well. I was taking down some nice pots and keeping my stack near the top. However, during the 6th level, I had a A Q unsuited and there was a A on the board. I was betting pretty aggressively, but my opponent went all-in. Calling him would have crippled me if he had trips or even 2 pair, since I just had a pair of As with a Q kicker. I had to fold and he showed an A 7. I might have won. We hadn't seen the river, so you can never tell. That was the beginning of the end. It was followed by another hand A 10 suited that went south. I had lost about 40% of my chips. A few hands later, I was able to recoup a about half of those back with an A 10 unsuited, but that was the last hand of the day for me. Every hand that I bet on after that would end up with a bad flop and in the 7th level when the blinds were 600/300 with 100 ante, I was quickly losing my chips. I finally went all-in with QJ unsuited and got one caller. He had A 5 suited. The flop was KKQ, so I thought that I might just be able to play a little longer, but the turn was an A and the river was another K. I was eliminated holding a full house, losing to a better full house, just like the last time I played at Colusa.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/24/2008

There are days.....
This was probably the worst poker that I have played in some time. At least it is the worst results that I have had.
I lasted only 50 minutes. We were in the third level when I was knocked out. Every time I had a great starting hand I bet out and got several callers. My hand never held up. Finally, when I was low on chips and the blinds were 100/200, I had invested half of my stack and the big stack bet 600 after the flop. I only had 1000 left. I couldn't fugure out why he would bet when the flop was so bad 3 unsuited low cards. Since he called my bet before the flop, he had to have something. I was thinking two high cards, so the flop didn't make sense. He might have made a low pair, so it would be a race. Since I was already pot committed, I went all-in.
He had a pair of 6s, so I had 6 outs (24%). I didn't feel too bad about my chances until the turn gave him trip 6s. Out in 8th place.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/16/2008

I finally broke the dreaded 7th place barrier. I was actually doing very well prior to the break. Up until that point I was either the chip lead or second place with five players left. It wasn't that I was playing exceptionally well, it was more that others were calling me when I had great hands and the hand held up. One hand in particular I was rather pleased with happened rather early in the game. I had pocket 7s and a 7 came on the flop. There were two hearts, so in order to eliminate chasers I went all-in. Apparently, one player wasn't aware of odds and called me. He had two hearts. My trips held up and I was the chip leader.
The first hand after the break I got a J 9 and called the big blind. The flop was Q J 7, giving me middle pair. The big blind made a bet and I called. The turn was a 10, giving me a straight draw as well as middle pair. The big blind bet again. He had been extremely aggressive when playing against me, usually with nothing. I called again. The river was a 4. The big blind went all in, I called and he turned over a Q. I had lost my chip lead and was now critically low.
A few hands later the person who had just a few chips more than I did went all-in and had two callers. He lost on the river, leaving us with only four players. A few hands later, I was down to 1500 chips. I was dealt pocket 5s, so I went all-in. I was called by a Q J suited. The flop showed a J, so everyone thought I was out until we also noticed that there was a 5 as well, giving me trips. I doubled up. The following hand I was dealt pocket Qs, went all-in and got a caller. The Qs held up and I was pretty much even with most of the players.
I was dealt A 5 suited and felt that it was a great hand with only four players, so I raised three times the big blind. The big blind put me all-in, so I called. He turned over pocket 7s. He got a 7 on the flop, so I was knocked out in 4th place. So the 7 is still my nemesis.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/10/2008

I guess there are times when you just don't catch cards. Most of the hands that I saw were one high card and one low card unsuited. I caught pocket Js once and went all-in. I was called by someone holding KQ unsuited. He caught a Q on the flop, so I got up to go when a J came on the river. Whew!!!!
But then it was back to nothing hands and no chances to make a move, as everyone else was making moves and my stack was low. After the break, the blinds were at 400/200 and I had 1700, so I figured that I needed to make a move with the best hand that I could get really soon. Fortunately, I got AQ unsuited after only 6 hands. I got called by someone holding 4 6 suited. I actually had more chips than him, but a 4 came on the river and held up leaving me with 600. The next turn I was the big blind, so I was committed. I had J 9 unsuited, which isn't too bad. I was called by the one player who had A 2 unsuited. He ended up with a full house and I was out in 7th place again. I can't seem to break the 7th place barrier on these WSOP satellites.
So, I paid for next Sunday's tournament and left.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/09/2008

Well, I feel even more stupid today. I arrived at the casino at 8:30 and saw that the tournament had already started. I asked if they had started early and someone said, "It's daylight saving time". Arrggghhhh!!!!
Fortunately, someone wanted to play and had taken my seat, so I got my entrance fee back, which I applied towards tomorrow's tournament. Normally, I wouldn't try to play a night time tournament, since I have to work in the morning, but this is only a 10 person tournament, so how long can that last. Famous last words. Will let you know tomorrow.

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Lucky Derby Casino - WSOP Main Event Super Satellite - 03/02/2008

OK, I'm a bit embarrassed by this entry. First, this satellite event only had 10 people and one didn't show, so it was really just a 9 player tournament. I was knocked out after 45 minutes in 7th place.
I had not been getting many hands worth playing or even bluffing. I got the third hand that I felt like playing. A-4. The blinds were 50/100. Someone in middle position had raised from $100 to $300, so it was $250 more for me to call, since I was small blind. The flop was A-8-10. I bet $500. After a few minutes the other player called. The turn was a 4, giving me 2 pair. I bet $1000. I should have gone all-in, as I was pot committed, but I wasn't really concentrating. As it was, I gave my opponent good enough odds to call the raise. The river was an 8, giving my opponent trips. He had paired his 8 on the flop and the river gave him the third 8. He also had a flush draw, so had I bet the turn properly I may have been able to push him off the hand.
So, I was out and went to the cage to pay for next Sunday's super satellite.

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Colusa Casino - WSOP Main Event Satellite - 02/23/2008

Colusa is a small town about 90 minutes from where I live. They have an Indian Casino and it holds satellite tournaments to the WSOP Main Event on the last Saturday of every month leading up to the WSOP Main Event.
I drove the 90 minutes and arrived at the casino at 11am. The tournament began at 12pm. 93 people had signed up for the satellite. The entry was $200+20.
The first table that I was at had a "calling station" just to my right. Fortunately, he only affected me once, but I lost quite a few chips to him that time. He appeared to get pretty lucky on the river several times. This approach eventually got him knocked out while there were still 4 tables in play.
I messed up about 4 times, as I am not used to playing at live tournaments yet. However, I was able to stay ahead of the blinds, keeping my stack at least 10 blinds up. One time that I messed up, I had intended on putting the only other person in the hand all-in before the flop. Unfortunately, I messed up on how I bet the hand and was only able to double the bet. He called and the flop missed me. I made the all-in bet after the flop and the player called me. I had A-J, but he turned over pocket As. The flop had given me 8 outs. I could either win with a K or an 8, since the flop was Q-10-9. The turn didn't help me, but the river gave me the K and I knocked him out of the tournament.
When we were down to 12 players, I only had enough for 2 blinds, so I called Ambo and told her that I would probably be leaving shortly. However, someone at the other table knocked out 2 people and we were down to 10.
We agreed at the final table that the first place player would put up $100 for the 10th place player, so that all positions at the final table cashed. I figured that it would either be me or the only person that had less chips than I. On the next hand, that player tripled up, so it looked like it was going to be me. When I was big blind and had to put in the $10,000 blind and the $1000 ante, I was left with only $16,000, so I called someone that had put in $30,000. Another player called, as well. After the flop, I didn't have anything, so I got ready to go. However, the greedy large stack put in $75,000 and the other player folded. I beat the large stack, but the other player would have been able to knock me out. Everyone got on the large stack's case for that. So, I tripled up and felt relieved.
My next big blind, I had Q 9. Two people had called me, so I checked. The flop was Q-J-9. The small blind went all-in. I went all-in. The small blind had a few more chips than I did. The initial bettor thought about it for quite some time, since there was a possible straight and a possible flush. He finally called. We turned over our cards. I was pretty happy with my 2 pair, but the initial bettor turned over Q-J. His 2 pair were better. The small blind had an open ended straight draw. The turn gave her the straight. However, the river was a Q, giving both me and the initial bettor full houses, unfortunately his full house was better. Since the small blind had more chips than I, I finished in 7th place and she finished in 6th place. It was a little after 9pm when I was knocked out and I still had a 90 minute drive ahead of me. This is the longest tournament that I have played. I had played against more people in an online tournament, but they go much quicker.
The prize for 7th place was $245, so I made $25 (enough to pay for the gas).

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Lucky Derby Casino - 02/16/2008

I have decided that I have to try to make it to the WSOP Main Event. I found that the Colusa Casino is holding two 120-player satellites, where the first prize is an entry to the Main Event and $6,000. These are on 2/23 and 3/28. I also found out that the Lucky Derby is having one table satellites starting 3/2. The winners of those satellites play a 20 person satellite in May, where the winner gets an entry to the Main Event.
I figured that I had better get some practice in, so I entered a tournament today (and also signed up for the 3/2 satellite). I played a bit tighter today, and almost got knocked out twice, as the structure is very tight (20 minutes per level). However, I managed to get a few lucky breaks and made it to 5th place. There was one hand that I was extremely happy with. I had AK suited and played it extremely aggressive. I pushed all-in and the other players folded. One player said, all I had was AK. So, I showed him my hand and he was disgusted. I told him that I was just more aggressive with the hand. I also stated that the fact that my hands were shaking should have been a big tell. I couldn't believe that my hands were shaking like that. It wasn't that great a hand and I wasn't worried about them calling me.
My last hand, I was small stack, blinds were $1000/$2000. One person had limped in, so I raised to $8000 with AQ suited on the cut-off. Everyone folded except the limper who sat for a while counting his chips. He was one of the big stacks, so I would only have cost him about a third of his stack if I went all-in on him. However, he went all-in. I figured he had a pair, but I had to race since I only had 3 blinds left, so I called. He had pocket Js, so both of my cards were good and they were suited. I felt good with my chances. Unfortunately, the flop gave him another J. The turn gave me a shot at a flush, but the river was a heart so I was out in fifth place. I made enough money to pay for the tournament on 1/26, today and the satellite on 3/2, as well as a nice tip for the dealers.

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PokerStars Tournament #75504854 - 01/28/2008

I entered a Sit & Go on Poker Stars for $20+2. I came in first. Woo Hoo!!!!

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Lucky Derby Casino - 01/26/2008

I decided that I had better try my newly acquired skills at a local casino, as the next two weeks I would be on production support.
I practiced the skills that I was taught and was doing pretty well. There were a few times where I made mistakes or ignored the lessons and "each" time I paid for it by losing several chips. I made it to 19th place out of a field of 79 players. I received 100 points, which don't do me much good, as I do not play there enough.

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Commerce Casino - Sit & Go - 01/20/2008

The Commerce Casino is running satellite tournaments for the upcoming LAPC, so the only tournament that I could get into for a cash prize was the sit & go's on the electronic tables. I entered a 9 person sit & go to test out my newly acquired knowledge from the WPT Boot Camp. I was chip leader for most of the tournament, but I made a mistake (for which the instructors would have chastised me) and dropped to third place. I was able to hang on long enough to finish in second place. Since only the top two positions were paid, I was happy with the outcome.

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WPT Boot Camp - Day 2 - 01/20/2008

I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. So, I got ready and went to the cash games. I sat at a table with about 7 other people. One person looked very familiar, but I couldn't recall where I had seen his face. I guess that he must be in the class, as well. Someone asked him what he did and he said that he was an actor, but wasn't doing anything due to the writer's strike. Then I recalled where I had seen him before. He was on a new show that had just started when the strike hit, so he was only in a few episodes. I made a little bit of cash, but then the table broke up and I lost everything at the new table, as the player got lucky on the river. He shouldn't have called my all-in based upon the odds. He had two outs and he hit it. What can you do when a donkey gets lucky?

Learned quite a bit today. I feel it will definately help my tournament play. It will make me play more aggressively. I was takling with one of the class-mates this morning. He was showing soneone his glasses. As soon as he put them on, I recognised him. He was Bill Kontaratos who I had just watched recently at a final table on TV.

We had a full class tournament at the end of the class. I had AQ unsuited and went all-in. I was called by two players, who went all-in as well. One of them had pocket 4s and the other pocket Qs. I had three outs, so I figured I was dead. The pocket Qs won. I finished in 10th place out of the 40 students.

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WPT Boot Camp - Day 1 - 01/19/2008

I learned a few things, but mostly we went over the basics. We played a few one table tournaments. I did poorly. I made several mistakes, which were pointed out to me. It was good having those mistakes thrown back at me, as I would probably have continued making them.
The instructors were great. Each had their own interesting way of instructing. I felt that Jules and Jan were the best for my weaknesses, but I learned a lot from both Linda and Crispin, as well.

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Trip To L.A. - 01/18/2008

I took today and Monday as vacation days and flew down for the WPT Boot Camp at the Commerce Casino in L.A. this weekend. The casino limo picked me up and the driver stated that he had to go pick up another player in Santa Monica. Since I didn't have anything else to do, I said it was okay. The other player, a pro, was not answering his phone, so after about 30 minutes of driving toward Santa Monica it was decided that we would just head to the casino.

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Card Player Magazine - 01/16/2008

Ambo got me a subscription to Card Player Magazine for Xmas. I received the first copy today. I was sad to see the cover, as it showed that Chip Reese had died. That was kind of a shock, as I had just been watching him play an event on TV.

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